#Dev4Africa: a campaign to call on the African Development Bank to respect human rights

The African Development Bank (AfDB) funds hundreds of projects across Africa. Despite the Bank's commitments and promises, several of these projects lack sustainability, transparency, accountability, participation, inclusion, effectiveness and efficiency. As a result, many AfDB-funded activities are harming people, exacerbating inequality, leading to human rights violations, polluting the planet, and contributing to climate change.

#Dev4Africa is a campaign launched by grassroots groups, Indigenous Peoples, civil society organizations, communities, workers, women, and other right-holders and allies who share the common belief that fair and sustainable development in Africa is possible. The campaign supporters want to hold the AfDB accountable and ensure it works in the best interest of people in Africa.

The review of the Integrated Safeguards System

At the end of 2021, the African Development Bank (AfDB) started to review its Integrated Safeguards System (ISS). Safeguards are a crucial instrument for all the people impacted by the projects and activities of the bank: they are a set of rules designed to mitigate and remedy potential negative impacts development projects might have on environment or vulnerable social groups, including children, Indigenous Peoples, and people with disability. They also include policies to ensure engagement with stakeholders, participation of affected communities, and a safe environment for human rights defenders.

To ensure the new safeguards are more effective and better protect the rights of project-affected communities, a group of civil society organizations across Africa is participating in some round of consultations and submitting written recommendations to the Bank. However, the group has reported serious shortcomings in the review process, that lacks transparency and inclusivity. While other development banks organize multiple round of consultations, during a long period of time, the AfDB has only opened consultations with civil society for 45 days and the process was not transparent.